Volunteering in LGBT-friendly countries

The following is a guest post by Adam Ulivi from Lattitude Global Volunteering. Learn how you can contribute to My Gay Travel Guide here.

The voluntary sector does a lot of great work around the world. Being an international aid worker not only helps communities around the world in immeasurable ways but is also very rewarding for the individuals providing that aid.

With that in mind, it shouldn’t be all that surprising that there is a large number of altruistically minded people who want to volunteer to help communities around the world. Today there are plenty of organizations set up to group prospective volunteers with good causes but one of the first was Lattitude Global Volunteering.

Lattitude were founded in England in 1972 to provide school leavers with the opportunity to make a positive impact on the world, while getting to see some of it at the same time. Lattitude offers 17- 25 year olds volunteer placements around the world, and while they are all LGBT-friendly, there are a couple of destinations which standout as being particularly welcoming.


Same-sex marriage has been legal in Argentina since 2010, and is it currently the only country in South America to bring in this law, highlighting the progressive attitude of the country. The country’s capital, Buenos Aires, has an emerging gay and lesbian scene, giving volunteers the opportunity to check out some exciting night life with a colorful flair.

With Lattitude, volunteers in Argentina can work as English teachers, school assistants or community workers in 4 month long placements.

South Africa

While in other parts of Africa homosexual acts are punishable by death, South Africa is not just the only country to have legalized same-sex marriage, it was the 5th country in the whole world to do so. After apartheid, the country become focused on equality and fairness, as a result it was also the first country to ban all forms of sexual discrimination. While South Africa’s population isn’t entirely open-minded, the majority of its population seem to be anti-discriminatory making it the safest part of the continent to be open about your sexuality.

As with Argentina, placements for volunteering in South Africa are available for people wanting to work as a teacher, community worker, or activities instructors. Placements last for 5 to 6 months.

3 thoughts on “Volunteering in LGBT-friendly countries”

    1. I’ve volunteered in a few different places but never with this organization. Usually I just look up local places when I arrive and go from there 🙂

      Jealous of your trip and that you’re going to BA – never been but it’s sooooo high on my list!

  1. I love the idea of this post and big ups to Argentina (beyond the “scene” mentioned by the author, Argentina just passed the Gender Identification Law that makes it easy for transgendered people to change their sexes easily and at will).

    But… South Africa is not the safe haven this author makes it out to be. Yes, gay marriage is legal in SA, but it is not necessarily a fair or equal place to be out for LGBT people, particularly for black lesbians. ‘Corrective rape’ (which is often accompanied by physical assault, torture and even murder) is a huge problem there, and so far, has been ignored and even concealed by politicians and police. Beyond the threat of rape, there are threats to personal security for LGBT people in the country that are complicated by the intersections of race and class, and that require more analysis in promoting a destination as LGBT friendly than is offered here.

    I’m not familiar with Latitudes. I hope that they prep their LGBT volunteers with more thorough and realistic information.

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